Reporting on the impact of content has long been a struggle for B2B marketers. Yes, it will have an impact on bottom line revenue – but we need some data points to show that we’re on the right track before it gets there.
So first we’re going to quickly talk about what data you should look at and report on to see if your content program is working. And then I’m going to give you 4 awesome ways you can pull this juicy data without needing to pay for something else in your tech stack.
What Data Should You Report On?
So what data should we look at and report on?
Well, here at The B2B Playbook we’re huge fans of qualitative data. This is the data that tells you not just ‘what’, but how and why. Data that you collect from things like interviews with your Dream Customers.
But that doesn’t mean quantitative data (that tells you the ‘what’) is bad! It’s just the type of quantitative data that marketers report on that is often so limiting to their content programs.
Real Quick – Look At The Quality of Quantitative Data For Better Insights
We like to say – when you examine quantitative data, look at the quality of that quantitative data.
- Don’t just look at ‘impressions’ or ‘views’, but look at which companies viewed your content
- Don’t just look at ‘page views’ to see if people are reading your blog – look to see how long they’re spending on the page and if they’re engaging with it
That way we can focus on serving the right people with the right content, rather than attracting masses of people with average content that doesn’t build any brand affinity.
Now let’s get into our 4 free ways you can check out who is viewing your content.
Method 1 – See Who Is Visiting Your Website With Clearbit’s Free Weekly Report
If your content is deeply resonating with your Dream Customers, they’ll eventually become more aware of your brand and start visiting your website. The good news is you can start to see which companies are visiting your website, without using gated content to capture their email and other firmographic details.
You can use a traffic deanonymizing tool like Clearbit to tell you which companies have been visiting your website. It tells you:
- Which companies have been on your website
- What pages they viewed
- If they showed more ‘intent’ based on others
- Firmographic information on the company like number of employees, industry, technology used etc.
As a marketer, you can quickly see whether or not your content is attracting the right types of companies. You can also use this information to check with sales that you are aligned on the types of companies you are trying to win as customers.
The above screenshot is from Clearbit showing us the companies that visited our website theb2bplaybook.com over a week. We can see that there’s quite a range of companies here firmographically. They’re across different industries, different company sizes with different turnovers.
So when I look at this report, I’m interested in the businesses that we serve best. And they tend to be those that are between 11-200 employees, because they often have a smaller, more nimble marketing team.
Here we’ve clicked on AdvaHealth Solutions because they’re in the 11-50 employee range. We can see that based on the pages they’ve visited, they’re browsing a range of topics that we speak about on The B2B Playbook. With their repeat visits at 14 over the last 7 days, it’s fair to say that they’re likely getting a good amount of information out of our content, and we’re starting to build trust with them.
As we continue our demand creation efforts, the number of companies that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) should increase in this free weekly report. This is a great way to show you’re attracting the right type of people with your marketing efforts, even before that marketing sourced pipeline starts turning into revenue in your CRM.
Here is Clearbit’s Free Weeky Visitor Report sample for you to play around with. Sign up for their free trial – there’s really very little to lose.
Method 2 – Use PhantomBuster To Pull Lists Of People Who Like Your Social Content
A great leading indicator that your content strategy is working is if your Dream Customers are liking or otherwise engaging with your posts on social. You can view this information directly in some platforms like LinkedIn:
But if you want to pull a list of people and job titles that engaged with your content, you can use the free version of PhantomBuster. Here’s how I do it:
Step 1 – Get A List Of All Your URLs
First you need a list of your posts’ URLs. Normally you’ll want to get the URLs for your organic posts and your paid ad posts, if you want to see who is engaging with them.
An easy way of getting the URLs of all your posts on LinkedIn is by first using Phantom Buster’s ‘LinkedIn Activity Extractor‘.
Input the URL of the profile that you want to scrape. Or if you have several profiles you want to scrape (for example your personal account and your company account), put them in a Google Spreadsheet and copy/paste that URL into the field above.
In the example above, I have put in my personal LinkedIn profile.
Once you hit ‘Save’ and adjust the settings to suit you, hit ‘Launch’ and it will start pulling all the posts from your profile.
The output is a CSV file with the URLs of all your posts.
Step 2 – Get A List Of All People Who Engaged With Your Content
Now we need to feed that list to pull the names and job titles of the people who liked our posts. To do that, we need to use PhantomBuster’s LinkedIn Post Likers Export.
So the tool can process all the URLs of your posts, you will need to upload the CSV you downloaded in the previous step to a Google Sheet, and then use the URL of that Google Sheet.
Disclaimer: LinkedIn does not like you using tools that automate things like this. Try doing this in small batches with a few URLs at first, particularly on a cold profile.
Launch the tool, download the results – and PRESTO! You have a CSV with the names and job titles of people who are engaging with your organic posts.
The good news for me here is that most of the people engaging with my content are from my ICP. So we know that our content is building trust with the right people, and they’re responding well to it.
6 Awesome Ways To Use This Data
There’s a BUNCH of ways you can use this data to show your content strategy is on the right track.
- Track monthly how many engagements you are getting from your ICP
- Track monthly how many ‘new’ engagers from your ICP you’re getting
- Identify engagers to add them to your network
- Invite engagers to follow your LinkedIn company profile if that content will also likely be of value to them
- Use a formula in excel to see who engages with your posts the most, and identify your ‘top’ engagers
- See which companies you are building a following in
Method 3 – Review Data From LinkedIn
You can view the firmographics of people who viewed or engaged with your content through the LinkedIn platform itself. There is more detail available on personal profiles than on company pages.
On LinkedIn company pages, it doesn’t give you the detail about which companies are viewing your content. Only firmographic details like company size, job function, industry, location, and seniority.
LinkedIn allows you to export this information into Excel, so you can include it in your monthly reporting and make sure your content is attracting the right kind of people!
Method 4 – LinkedIn Campaign Manager
LinkedIn Campaign Manager is a free tool that lets you see the demographics and firmographics of any audiences you have set-up in the platform. This includes:
- website visitors
- lists that you upload
- visitors to your company page
It’s another way of making sure that your marketing is attracting your ICP.
You can setup and gather these insights using LinkedIn Campaign Manager without actually spending any money on ads at all. All you need to do is create a Campaign Manager Account to start collecting insights. If you want to collect insights about your website and the firmographics of the people visiting your website, then you’ll need to make sure you have a LinkedIn Campaign Manager Insights Tag installed on your website.
BONUS METHOD – SHIELD APP
If you wanna pay a little, SHIELD App makes it easier to track and see which posts are performing best and grab audience demographic insights. It also has some really neat features to help you understand what content is performing best, or attracting new followers so you can maximise your impact with socials.
It also gives you the ability to put labels on your content, so you can easily see what kind of content is resonating best with your audience. For example, every time I post for The B2B Playbook the content I’m sharing is related to one of the stages of our 5 BEs Framework. If I want to track which of the stages in the 5 BEs our Dream Customers are MOST interested in, I can tag each post with ‘Stage 1 – Be Ready’ and then easily see how that performs as a collective.
Combine that with some handy demographic and firmographic metrics, and it’s a pretty solid system for reporting.
Conclusion – Do What Works For You
Now, I’ve given you quite a few ways to track the impact of your content. But just pick whatever is easiest for you. Love the convenience of Shield App? Great – go for it. Is LinkedIn Campaign Manager enough for you? Then just use that.
Phantombuster a bit too fiddly? I get it.
Find a reporting system that gives you just enough information so (a) you know you’re heading in the right direction, and (b) you can communicate that to your team.
Spend the rest of the time continuing to attract your Dream Customers with that killer content of yours!